Fund managers discuss keys to growth

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19, 2010 – A panel of hedge fund managers, fund-of-funds and consultants at the fifth annual Gravitas Trends event discussed the tools that successful companies will need to employ as they look to reach record sizes in the years to come.

Gravitas Chief Executive Officer Jayesh Punater started the evening by identifying what he called the “new building blocks” of alternative asset management: leadership, technology, culture and marketing.

“Today successful private funds are the ones that achieve growth and stability by turning to this new set of building blocks,” Punater said.

A panel discussion moderated by Philip Vasan, Global Head of Prime Services and Capital Services for Credit Suisse, looked for examples of Punater’s thesis among today’s leading alternative asset management firms, in both new launches and established managers. "Size may be necessary but not sufficient for success," Vasan said.

The founder of Evanston Capital Management, David Wagner, emphasized that his firm looks for managers that match their culture and strategy.

“I think the outsourcing model is the way of the future,” said Janet Campagna, Chief Executive Officer of the newly-launched QS Investors. “We started with a custom tailored operating platform that brought us real operating efficiencies and solutions tailored to our business model and product set. Today’s vendors are much more nimble.”

One of the event’s keynote speakers discussed the increasingly contentious relationship between government and the financial services community. James R. Bucknam, CEO of Freeh Group International Solutions, implored firms to prepare for the changed environment. “If you don’t have an effective compliance program, trust me – it will come back to haunt you,” he said.

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